Claressa Shields is the new WBO Undisputed Middleweight Champion
ATLANTIC CITY – Claressa Shields backed up virtually every provocative word Saturday night.
The brash, unbeaten women’s middleweight champion proved her superiority in what was supposed to be the most difficult fight of her two-year pro career. Shields’ speed, power, aggression and defense earned her a convincing victory over long-reigning middleweight champ Christina Hammer at Boardwalk Hall’s Adrian Phillips Theater.
All three judges – Lynne Carter, Guido Cavalleri and Robin Taylor – scored eight of the 10 rounds for Shields in the main event of a Showtime tripleheader. Shields (9-0, 2 KOs) nearly knocked out Hammer in the eighth round, but she settled for a unanimous-decision win in what was promoted as the biggest fight in women’s boxing history.
Cavalleri and Taylor scored the one-sided eighth round 10-8 for Shields, and thus had it 98-91 for her. Carter scored Shields a 98-92 winner.
“Well, first of all, I can say I am the greatest woman of all time,” Shields told Showtime’s Steve Farhood in the ring. “Give me that! Give me that! Y’all told me I couldn’t do it. Y’all said she was 24-0, 11 knockouts. Ain’t no way Claressa will beat her. She 8-0, two knockouts. Claressa’s gonna get knocked out. Claressa don’t hit hard. Come on.”
Shields defended her IBF, WBA and WBC middleweight titles and won the WBO championship from Hammer. Germany’s Hammer had owned the WBO 160-pound title since October 2010, approximately 22 months before Shields won the first of two gold medals at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Shields, of Flint, Michigan, also joined welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus as the only woman to own the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO titles at the same time.
Hammer, of Dortmund, Germany, lost for the first time as a pro (24-1, 11 KOs, 1 NC).